The London Borough of Bexley welcomes and encourages pre-application discussion before a planning application is submitted.

We seek to process all applications within government targets, however, it is highly likely that applications submitted following a pre-application discussion will progress faster, particularly where the applicant has taken on board the issues raised and suggestions made by us in the pre-application stage.

The matters suitable for discussion at the pre-application advice meeting could include:

  • information on the relevant policies and other planning requirements
  • advice regarding the procedure, consultation, and estimated timescale in regard to the process of the application
  • the required information for making a valid planning application
  • indication of the likely requirement for contributions by the developer, such as levels of affordable housing or highways payments
  • informal and without prejudice comments and guidance on the content, construction and presentation of an application likely to satisfy the Council's planning policies

The Council will require sufficient information to enable a quality advice service to be provided. This includes:

  • a description of the proposed development and schedule of proposed uses
  • a site location plan (scale 1:1250)
  • photographs and sketch drawings showing the site, buildings and trees as existing, together with the schedule of uses
  • outline of the proposal (on plans scale 1:200)
  • sketch drawings showing height / scale of development
  • information on affordable housing where appropriate
  • available information on traffic generation, servicing, access arrangements and parking. This should normally include as a minimum the initial scoping report on transport issues

For those applicants using our Category 'A' service please refer to Bexley Design Advice Panel section above.

For Category 'A' and 'B'* we will acknowledge receipt of the pre-application advice request and undertake an internal consultation exercise. Meetings are normally held at Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath.

Following the meeting, a detailed advice letter will be sent within 15 working days outlining the major planning issues, constraints and requirements. 

For Category 'C' and 'D'* (where no meeting is sought) a written response will be provided within 15 working days after receipt of a written request for advice. Where a meeting is requested, the meeting shall take place 15 working days after the date of submission.

Where a meeting and written response has been requested, a written response will be provided 15 working days after the meeting date. 

*Pre-application categories are outlined at Pre-planning services and fees.

If you wish to make a preliminary initial enquiry about this service, email

Please note: Any advice given by Council officers for pre-application enquiries does not constitute a formal response or decision of the council with regards to future planning consents.

Any views or opinions expressed are given in good faith without prejudice to the formal consideration of any planning application, which will be subject to public notification and statutory/non-statutory consultations, and ultimately decided by the Council.

You should therefore be aware that officers cannot give guarantees about the final formal decision that will be made on your planning or related applications.

However, the pre-application advice will be taken into account in the determination of the future planning related applications, subject to the proviso that circumstances and information may change or come to light that could alter the position.

It should be noted that if the planning application is delayed for a significant period then any pre-application advice may be overtaken by changes in national, regional or local policy and guidance.

The fee includes the amount of time taken on a case by a planning officer, from the investigation stage to the actual meeting and/or the final written comment.

  • Category A - Major developments £2,940
  • Category B - Minor developments £1,000
  • Category C - Small commercial - £170 (written response) / £290 (meeting up to one hour)
  • Category D - Householder, small residential - £90 (written response) / £115 (meeting up to one hour)

Category A

  • major development proposals includes provision of 10 or more residential units, residential development on a site of more than 0.5 hectares, creation or change of use of over 1,000 m² of commercial floor space or development on a site of more than one hectare

Category B

  • minor development proposals includes provision of commercial development of 100-999 square metres, creation of two to nine net residential units, changes of use of floorspace between 100m² to 999m², advertisement application for hoardings or proposals for Telecommunications equipment and masts

Category C

  • small commercial proposals includes extensions to commercial premises under 100 square metres, changes of use of commercial premises under 100 square metres or advertisements other than hoardings

Category D

  • householder and small residential proposals, extension to a dwelling house or single flat, alterations to a dwelling house or single flat (including vehicular access), outbuildings and other structures in domestic gardens, business use from a dwelling house or the creation of up to one additional residential unit

Payment of charges

The standard fee for all Categories must be received before the pre-application case can be progressed.